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Medvedev Backs Ph.D. Plagiarism Crackdown

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said Wednesday that the "number of phony doctorates surpasses all possible limits," and that he supported a crackdown on plagiarism in Ph.D. dissertations.

Allegations of plagiarized dissertations have hit some of the state's highest officials, including Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky and even President Vladimir Putin, who the Brookings Institution, a U.S. think tank, said copied "large chunks" of a text by two University of Pittsburgh academics when writing his economics dissertation.

"I've always been personally offended even thinking about it [plagiarism]," Medvedev told a state meeting dedicated to freedom of information. "I think, well, I wrote a dissertation, I sat down and did it, and someone took all of it, basically lifted it from the Internet or paid someone, and everything was handed to him."

Last week the Education and Science Ministry said numerous dissertations defended at the Moscow State Pedagogical University had been plagiarized. The check was prompted by an allegation that Andrei Andriyanov, now-former director of the Kolmogorov high school for advanced studies, had plagiarized parts of his dissertation, which he defended at the university. Andriyanov resigned Monday.

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